2011-2012 DFB Pokal First Round: Saturday Preview

After an exciting first day of matches, including fourth division Red Bull Leipzig upsetting Wolfsburg, Saturday sees fourteen matches including last season's champions Borussia Dortmund.

Saturday

BFC Dynamo Vs. Kaiserslautern

Kaiserslautern finished an outstanding 7th in the Bundesliga last season. Their opponents BFC Dynamo are playing in the fifth division of German soccer. Christian Tiffert was excellent for Kaiserslautern last season out of the midfield, and lead the league in assists. Keep an eye on him.

Hallescher Vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Alexander Meier will be the difference maker for Frankfurt out of the midfield against fourth division Hallescher. After a stellar first half last season in the Bundesliga, Frankfurt's second half was so awful that they were relegated to the 2.Bundesliga. They should be too good for Hallescher, but it will depend on how well Thomas Kesler organizes his back line.

Heidenheim Vs. Werder Bremen

Bremen will be counting on the attacking force that Marko Marin, Mehmet Ekici and Marko Arnautovic to put the sword to the 3.Liga side from Heidenheim.

Dynamo Dresden Vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen will be putting in American goalkeeper David Yelldell in for the injured Rene Adler. Even with a few weeks of working with Yelldell, it will be interesting to see how the backline organizes under his watch. The two players to keep an eye on for Leverkusen will be midfielder Lars Bender and forward André Schürrle. Dresden earned promotion to the 2.Bundesliga after defeating Osnabrück in the promotion playoff.

Eintracht Trier Vs. St. Pauli

The pirates of St. Pauli are looking to rebound after their relegation to the 2.Bundesliga last season. There's no better way than getting a fourth division side in the cup. 

Arminia Bielefeld Vs. Nürnberg

The two biggest Fahrstuhlmannschaften, or yo-yo clubs, in Germany are battling for a spot in the second round. I expect Nürnberg to go through with a simple victory. 

Rot Weiss Ahlen Vs. Paderborn

Rot Weiss Ahlen were relegated from the 3.Liga last season and sold their leading scorer, American Matthew Taylor, to Paderborn in the summer. Paderborn will be looking for a solid performance out of their midfield in order to control the match against the chaotic Regionalliga side.

Oldenburg Vs. Hamburg

Even with seeing Ruud van Nistelrooy leaving the club in the summer for Malaga, Hamburg still has a frightening attack with Paolo Guerrero, Mladen Petric and Eljero Elia. Frank Arnesen has come to the club and brought in Chelsea defenders Michael Mancienne and Jeffrey Bruma in hopes to strengthen a weak backline.

Holstein Kiel Vs. Energie Cottbus

In a battle between a 3.Liga side and a 2.Bundesliga side, the conventional wisdom is that the 2.Bundesliga side has the advantage. Will Cottbus have the advantage over Kiel? More than likely they will. Expect the experience of Cottbus to come through.

Sandhausen vs. Borussia Dortmund

The champions should make easy work of the third division side. After last week's disappointment against Schalke in the Supercup, Dortmund will be out for blood. Robert Lewandowski will likely get the start up top again with Lukas Barrios out with his thigh injury suffered at the Copa America. 

Kickers Emden Vs. FSV Frankfurt

The second club of Frankfurt will look for a quick and easy victory over the fifth division club from the border with the Netherlands

Hansa Rostock Vs. Bochum

Rostock is coming off of a successful campaign in the 3.Liga that saw them promoted back to the 2.Bundesliga. Until last season, they had been in a free fall being relegated from the Bundesliga to 2.Bundesliga to 3.Liga in a three year period. Bochum lost the promotion playoff against Borussia Monchengladbach last season, but they are favorites again to win that promotion this year. Hansa will be hoping that some magic falls on the foot of their playmaker Björn Ziegenbein in order to advance to the next round.

Rot-Weiß Oberhausen vs. Augsburg

These two sides saw opposite fortunes at the end of last season. Augsburg won promotion to the Bundesliga while Oberhausen was relegated to the 3.Liga. Is a cup run a distraction that Augsburg needs as they look to embark on their first ever season in the first division? I'm sure the supporters won't complain. 

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